Book Series Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts, vol. 31

Mystics, Goddesses, Lovers, and Teachers

Medieval Visions and their Legacies. Studies in Honour of Barbara Newman

Steven Rozenski, Joshua Byron Smith, Claire M. Waters (eds)

  • Pages: 420 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:1 b/w, 18 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59974-8
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59975-5
  • E-book
  • Available

Demonstrates the vibrancy and influence of medieval mysticism and the feminized divine in medieval secular and religious texts and artefacts, their varied ‘crossovers’ between different contexts and cultures, and their afterlives in modern literature.


Steven Rozenski is Assistant Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Rochester (NY). His research focuses on late medieval literature and devotional culture, particularly the translation and adaptation of Continental contemplative texts in England both before and after the Reformation (ca. 1300-1600).

Joshua Byron Smith is Associate Professor of English and the Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Arkansas. His research concerns the multilingual literary culture of high medieval Britain, with particular attention to Latin, Anglo-Norman French, Old and Middle English, and Welsh.

Claire M. Waters is Professor and Chair of English at the University of California, Davis. She studies medieval religious literature and culture, primarily in Latin, French, and English, from saints' lives and preaching to doctrinal handbooks and miracles of the Virgin Mary.


The conjunction of medieval religious studies and gender studies in the past several decades has produced not only nuanced attention to medieval mystics and religious thinkers, but a transformation in the study of medieval culture more broadly. This volume showcases new investigations of mysticism and religious writing in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It also presents groundbreaking explorations of the feminized divine, from medieval to modern, and the many debts of medieval secular texts and cultures to the religious world that surrounded them. Medieval crossover also defines this volume: the contributors examine the crossovers between male and female, cloister and saeculum, divine and human, and vernacular and Latin that characterized so much of the complexity of medieval literary culture. These collected chapters examine mystics from Hildegard of Bingen and Juliana of Cornillon to Richard Rolle, Julian of Norwich, and Tomás de Jesús; the modern theologies of Philip K. Dick and Charles Williams; goddesses like Fame, Dame Courtesy, and Mother Church; and the role of religious belief in shaping conceptions of pacifism, obscenity, authorship, and bodily integrity. Together, they show the extraordinary impact of Barbara Newman’s scholarship across a range of fields and some of the new areas of investigation opened by her work.

Contributors: Jerome E. Singerman, Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, Jesse Njus, Andrew Kraebel, Nicholas Watson, Laura Saetveit Miles, Bernard McGinn, Carla Arnell, Maeve Callan, Katharine Breen, Lora Walsh, Susan E. Phillips and Claire M. Waters, Carissa M. Harris, Stephanie Pentz, Craig A. Berry, Dyan Elliott.


I. Introductions

1. Across the Margins: Gender, Religion, and the Remaking of Medieval Literary Studies
Steven Rozenski, Claire M. Waters, and Joshua Byron Smith

2. On Publishing Barbara Newman
Jerome E. Singerman

II. Mystics and (Re)Visions

3. The Art of Light: Romanesque Enamels and the Illumination of Hildegard’s Scivias
Kathryn Kerby-Fulton

4. Juliana of Cornillon and the Flowering of Medieval Mimesis
Jesse Njus

5. Richard Rolle’s Love-Song to the Virgin (‘Canticum Amoris’): Text and Translation
Andrew Kraebel

6. ‘Sixteen Shewinges’: The Composition of Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Love Revisited
Nicholas Watson

7. Redeeming Across Time: Philip K. Dick, Julian of Norwich, and the Art of Lifelong Revision
Laura Saetveit Miles

8. Introducing a Neglected Mystic: Tomás de Jesús (1564–1627)
Bernard McGinn

9. Existential Mathematics: Charles Williams’s Arthuriad and the Geometry of Love
Carla Arnell

III. Goddesses and Their Legacies

10. ‘The Mary of the Gael’: The Blessed Virgin among Saints and Heretics in Medieval Ireland
Maeve Callan

11. Building a Goddess: Personifications of Fame from Hesiod to Chaucer
Katharine Breen

12. Mother Church as Christian Goddess in John Wyclif ’s Tractatus de Ecclesia
Lora Walsh

13. Classroom Crossovers; or, The Goddesses of Courtesy
Susan E. Phillips and Claire M. Waters

IV. Crossovers and Afterlives

14. Holy Ribaldry: Obscene Pedagogies in Middle English Religious Texts
Carissa M. Harris

15. Pacifist Theology in the Alliterative Romance of Alexander and Dindimus
Stephanie Pentz

16. Confessing Authority: Literary Immortality and Authorial Salvation in Chaucer’s Retraction
Craig A. Berry

17. My Body, Myself: The Afterlife of the Corpse and the Cult of Relics
Dyan Elliott


Tabula Gratulatoria